When I made the roadtrip to Marietta Georgia for a Berger & Argenti event, one cigar I managed to pick up was the “Berger & Argenti Mooch”. The Mooch is a value priced cigar aimed at a wide variety of cigar enthusiasts from novice to more seasoned. With its Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, this is one of those cigars that I knew would be on the mild side. As with cigars that have this wrapper, a key component I look at is whether the cigar delivers flavor. I’m pleased to report that the Mooch definitely fits the bill to all of the above.
The way the folks from Berger & Argenti described this cigar – the Mooch name was given because it describes a cigar that somebody would want to “mooch” off of you. Namely, a good quality cigar at a value price. Let’s look closer at this particular cigar.
Here is a summary of the blend for this cigar:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Seed
Binder: Nicaragua Jalapa
Filler: Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Esteli
The Mooch is available in four vitolas. A cool packaging characteristic is the “Kennedy Embargo Cuts Cuban Trade” newspaper-type wrapper at the foot. It adds a nice charm to the cigar. I love cigars that put identities to each of the vitolas. These are definitely some unique identities!
Loll Belicoso: 6 x 52
Minnie Petite Corona: 4 3/4 x 42
Schnorr Robusto: 5 x 50
Windbag Churchill: 7 x 49
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I opted to sample the Loll Belicoso. For any belicoso or torpedo, I always go for an old-reliable straight cut. The prelight draws were pretty much what I expected – a combination of cream and wood. It was then on to toast the foot and see what flavors would emerge.
The cream and wood tones continued right out of the gate following the light. It didn’t take long for a hint of cherry sweetness. The flavor notes aren’t very deep, but they do provide for a nice smooth smoke. A few minutes into the smoke, I detected some notes of toast and almond (I’ll separate the two as opposed to “Toasted Almond”). These notes really helped this stand out from your traditional smoke. They also balanced nicely against the cherry sweetness and cream notes.
I didn’t get a lot of flavor changes on the Mooch. The body of the notes definitely picked up in the second half – namely they were more robust. As the cigar went toward the nub, it was a little soft, but it wasn’t hot. No harshness on the finish.
Burn and Draw
The burn of this cigar was excellent. For the experience I am documenting here, I had this outdoors in the morning, but each time I’ve had this it burned real nice. It was razor sharp and burned at the right rate and temperature. Belicosos are not my vitola of choice because sometimes I don’t enjoy the draw. With the Mooch, this was a great draw with no issues.
Strength and Body
The Esteli filler and Jalapa binder tobaccos just seemed enough to take this Connecticut Seed wrapper cigar out of the mild category into the mild to medium category. The body of this cigar starts out in the mild to medium range too, but by smoke’s end, I have no issue putting this in the medium range. The flavor notes were wonderful in the second half.
With an SRP that falls into the $4.00 to $6.00 range, you cannot go wrong with this cigar. It not only provides a smooth smoke, but some interesting flavor notes. This is definitely a morning smoke for me, and would probably be a morning smoke for the seasoned enthusiast. However, if you are looking for a nice cigar to give to the new enthusiast, I would not hesitate to recommend this cigar.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium (although Mild to Medium for most of the 1st half)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Disclaimer: This cigars for this review was part of a promotional sale at the Berger and Argenti event I attended. I purchased some cigars and received some free ones.